How MEG Changed My Life

March 9, 2017

This article is a part of the "My Experience with MEG" series, in which past recipients discuss how the Membership Empowerment Grant enhanced their careers. 


MEGEvery previous winner of a Membership Empowerment Grant (MEG) I spoke to about applying said the same thing: “It changed my life.” I now add my voice to the chorus.

Last spring, the New York Women in Communications Foundation selected my application for funds to study philosophy of art.  I aspire to enjoy a fourth career as an arts writer, following successful stints as a journalist, public relations professional and independent business writer. Shifting my writing focus seems the perfect way to combine my well-honed communications skills with my personal passion for the arts.

In late August, I found myself sitting in a classroom at Baruch College with some 25 students the age of my sons, all of them polite, welcoming and smart. Having never taken a philosophy course, I wasn’t sure what to expect but realized immediately that I was in for intellectual bootcamp.

For example the ideas we discussed in readings and classes during the semester included:

  • Why do we become emotionally involved with fictional characters?
  • How can pure music, i.e. music without words, evoke an emotional response in the listener?
  • What is the place of art in a democratic republic?
  • What is beauty?

Philosophers raise more questions than answers but asking good questions and learning how to work through possible answers is a skill to be admired and cultivated. At this moment, I don’t know how exactly this course will affect my future work, but I can say that I will never again watch a play or film, listen to a symphony or gaze at a painting the same way. I no longer can be a passive consumer of art, merely looking without thinking. So, I guess the MEG changed my life, too.

Thank you NYWICI Foundation and Professor Jonathan Gilmore!


The New York Women in Communications' annual Member Empowerment Grant is for NYWICI members of at least three consecutive years who want to pursue professional development opportunities. Awards are granted for continuing education courses, conference attendance, career coaching and more. Grants are paid directly to an institution and not to recipients. Winners must be present at the NYWICI Annual Meeting held each May, and use their grant within one year. 
For more details on the Member Empowerment Grant, read our Fact Sheet and Requirements & Obligations and Apply Online.
Posted by: 
Leila Zogby